Â "I’m a changed woman," says Oprah. The famed talk show host, Oprah Winfrey,Â says she will never buy another dog, that she will onlyÂ adopt dogs from shelters.Â This after Oprah produced a show about puppymills.Â The show airedÂ on April 4.
With Bill Smith of Main Line Animal Rescue and Wayne Pacelle of Humane Society of the United States as guests, Oprah showedÂ her audience film from an undercover investigation by Lisa Ling and Smith of several puppymills.
The film depicted puppy mill dogs living or existing inÂ filthy deplorable conditions, almost all in crowded cages too small for them to move around much, if at all.Â The cages often hadÂ chicken wire for flooring.Â The dogs were covered in waste, mattedÂ and starving with open wounds and other injuries. The female dogs were in particularly poor condition,Â having been bred continuously since they were puppies.Â Â The dogs were desperate to get outÂ of their cages.
Â Many dogs could not even walk when they were removed from the cages.Â In many cases, they were unsocialized and afraid of people.Â
At least one miller had shoved a pipe down the dogs’ throats to debark them.Â
Puppy mills are motivatedÂ by profit. The dogs that produce offspring are inventory. The puppies are a product.
Smith and Pacelle said 99% of dogs sold by pet stores or online are from puppy mills. Most people have no idea the dogs they buy come from places like this. They don’t realize they are supporting puppy mills andÂ horrific cruelty to animals when they buy a dog. Â
Oprah also made the point 25-30% of dogs from puppy mills, purebreds, end up in shelters, many times euthanized. Oprah showed film from Ft. Worth’s public animal shelter where more than 90% of dogs are euthanized. The audience saw shelter workers euthanizing dogs by lethal injection. Oprah’s audience was sparedÂ a view of animals killed inÂ gas chambers or by heartstick.
Oprah got the idea for a show on puppy mills fromÂ a billboard just off the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago that said "Oprah: Do a show on puppy mills;Â the dogs need you." The billboard was courtesy of Main Line Rescue, known for its billboard campaigns against puppy mills.
Oprah is a long time dog lover. She just lost her longtime companion, Sophie, a cocker spaniel. Now Oprah will join rescuers in saving dogs that end up in public shelters.Â An awesome and incredible friend for the animals!Â Â Kudos to Main Line Animal Rescue, http://www.mlar.org/ and the Humane Society of the United States for their work in exposing to the public the cruelty of the pet trade.Â
How You Can Follow Oprah’s Lead and Help End Pet MillsÂ
Â 1.Â Don’t ever buy pet from pet stores, online or newspapers or other ads! Instead, adopt a dog from your local shelter or rescue.
2.Â Encourage family and friends to adopt instead of buying pets.
3. Learn about puppy mills and other pet mills.
4.Â Educate others about puppy mills and other pet mills and encourage them to avoid supporting commercial dog and other pet breeders by adopting instead of buying pets.
5.Â Write a letter to the editor of your local paper or contact local radio stations about puppy mills and other pet mills and call on people to adopt instead of buying dogs and other pets.Â
6.Â Join a local group that advocates against puppy millsÂ or other pet mills.Â
7.Â Organize or join a protest at pet stores that sell pets. 99% of dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills.
8. Encourage local pet stores that sell pets to stop selling and instead offer animals from the local shelter for adoption. Encourage the pet stores to sell pet supplies to the public, not pets.
9.Â Many puppy mill dogs are sold at specially held dog auctions. Organize or join a protest at these auctions.
10. Support legislation to end puppy mills and otherÂ pet mills including laws requiring registration of mills, background checks and criteria for mill operators, limits on breeding and the numbers of animals kept and sold, humane sheltering and care of the animals, record keeping, unannounced inspections, registration and spay/neuter of animals sold as pets, bans on pet auctions and roadside sales, fire safety, proper disposal of waste and dead animals, and fees and fines that will help fund adequate enforcement. Contact your Congressional, state or local representatives to learn existing laws and how they could be made stronger and more effective or how they can be better enforced. Write or call your legislator and urge them to support an end to puppy mills and other pet mills. Â
11.Â Start or sign a petition in protest of puppy mills or other pet mills.Â Â
12. Look for puppy mills or other pet mills that may be just starting and are applying for local permits, or those that are renewing their permits. Work with local officials to oppose permits for puppy or other mills or set stringent requirements for the permit. Or attend hearings on the permit application and write or call local officials to let them know they should oppose the permit or conditions issuance of the permit on compliance with strict requirements.
13.Â Report all cruel, inhumane treatment you observe at a commercial dog or other petÂ breeding operation (aka puppy mills and other pet mills) and potential violations of regulations governing commercial dog or other pet breeders.
14. Find out if your state has a pet lemon law and, if not, work to pass one. Urge anyone who has bought a pet to report immediately any illnesses, diseases or defects the animal may have. Â For more information, visit this site http://www.caps-web.org/3_12attorneygeneral.php
15. Take an ad out in the local paper or circulate online messages educating the public about the cruelty of puppy mills or other pet mills and urge everyone to adopt instead of buying pets. Contact local radio stations and ask them to do public service announcements on this issue. Â Â
16.Â Volunteer at your local public shelter. 25-30% of puppy mill dogs end up in shelters. They often need special care and attention because they typically have received poor or non-existent care and no socialization.